Opening Act(s): Garbage
Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, Out Of Control, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Kite, In God’s Country, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Please, Bad-Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Pride (In The Name Of Love). Encore: Bullet The Blue Sky, What’s Going On, New York, One, My Sweet Lord, Walk On-40.
At the final Elevation concert, Larry Mullen plays drums on ‘Only Happy When It Rains’, the last song of Garbage’s set. ‘In God’s Country’ is complete with harmonica tonight. Bono also thanks several people, including Sheila Roche, Paul McGuinness and Chris Blackwell before ‘One’.
South Florida Sun Sentinel
U2 Closes Tour On Consoling Note
by Sean Piccoli
The rock band that cares closed its latest world tour not with a bang but with a hug.
U2 came full circle on Sunday night at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, tying the loop on a memorable nine-month trek that had begun up the road in Sunrise. The sunset on the Elevation Tour 2001 was quintessential U2 — two-plus hours of all-embracing rock ‘n’ roll psalms and some actual nuzzling, too. Lead singer Bono twice hauled an astonished young spectator from a packed floor onto the heart-shaped stage for a bit of earnest grip-and-grin.
The frontman said during the 20-song performance that his own heart was “bursting.”
Bono, guitarist Dave “The Edge” Evans, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. projected about as much warmth as any band could inside a drafty sportsplex. The sentiment was more than returned. Bono was happy to let the crowd of more than 16,000 take over the choruses of hits such as Elevation — the dance-rocking opener, played with the house lights up — as well as Pride and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
The Irish quartet did play one of its darkest songs, the churning Bullet the Blue Sky. Bono and The Edge also sparred like schoolyard rivals on Until the End of the World, the singer lying prostrate on the catwalk and aiming roundhouse, rattle-inducing kicks at The Edge’s guitar.
But chaos and apocalypse were not the evening’s muses. The spirit that most animated band and crowd came flooding through the simple chords of Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door — assisted by an amateur guitarist also plucked from the crowd — or the bounding rhythm of Mysterious Ways.
Bono, still in great voice at tour’s end, used the latter song’s “She moves me” refrain to invoke the names of deities: “Jehovah move me, Yahweh move me.”
U2 must be thanking somebody upstairs for the way things have turned out. Spurned and criticized during its 1997 PopMart Tour, the band rebounded this year with a popular new album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and a Grammy-winning single, Beautiful Day. The album reconciles U2’s go-go ’90s phase, embodied by the cold electronica and strip-mall symbolism of Pop, with the more heartfelt ’80s sound embodied by The Joshua Tree.
The tour likewise reunited band and fans, and not a few critics, at a fortuitous time. The catastrophes of Sept. 11 found stricken Americans looking to music as a way through shock and grief. No band is better prepared to offer comfort to the millions, and U2 has not hesitated — to borrow a lyric — to throw its arms around the world.
Five encores included the balladeering One, another sing-along, played with pointed visual accompaniment: the names of victims’ of the terrorist attacks scrolling up the screen. Bono then invited the crowd into a call-and-response of the late George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord. There was a U2-styled but still-soulful cover of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, and a poignant version of the new album’s bittersweet ode New York.
The group reached back on Sunday night to its very first single, 1980’s Out of Control, and even in that prototype one could hear the arena-ready schematics of future U2: guitar, bass, drums and voice sent up in unison like fireworks crisscrossing and then blooming across a broad, big-as-the-sky stereo canvas.
That approach worked flawlessly all evening, U2 signing off for 2001 with what amounted to a perfect Sunday service.
Another U.K. band, Garbage, opened the show. With singer Shirley Manson prowling the stage, the band combined dance tracks and rock backbeats with the pop savvy and precision of Garbage’s studio records. Manson, a likable femme fatale, selected not a somber ballad but a rocker, Til The Day I Die — as in, “I’ll love you …” — as her dedication to George Harrison. Manson and Co. also brought out U2 drummer Mullen for their finale, I’m Only Happy When It Rains, and graciously saluted their headlining host by giving the song a little U2 flavor — that rapid-fire, percussive guitar strumming that is one of U2’s signatures.
Sean Piccoli can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4832.
All images are © Reuters; © Jim Lawhead